Monday, 26 December 2011

*Excellent & Easy Recipe: "Upside Down Shepherd's Pie (Vegan)"

*Excellent & Easy Recipe:

We've been making this recipe in our home for the past few months (including Thanksgiving) and absolutely love it. The dish is called "Upside Down Shepherd's Pie" and it is out of the book "Appetite for Reduction" by fellow Portlander Isa Chandra Moskowitz.

This type of comfort food is perfect for the winter months and if you are running a lot of miles! (like me! ;-) )

I really like the variety of veggies and her addition of shiitake mushrooms and lentils to this recipe. Lentils definitely make this recipe stand out. Lentils are a nutritional powerhouse packed with protein, fiber, iron and folate. If you think vegans get all their protein from soy, think again! The addition of the cauliflower for the mashers not only makes it lower in calories, but healthier. Cauliflower is high in fiber and lots of vitamins.

Okay...So here is the recipe...It is really pretty simple and you can double it to have plenty of leftovers...It's such good energy!

Upside-Down Lentil Shepherd's Pie

(Can be made gluten/soy free if you leave out the Worcestershire sauce.)

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped finely
4 oz shiitake mushrooms, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1 zucchini, diced small (1 1/2 cups
3 cloves garlic, minced (of course I doubled mine to 6! mmm garlic!)
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
Several pinches freshly ground black pepper
1 cup carrots, peeled and diced small
3/4 cup du Puy lentils (aka French lentils), rinsed
3 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup frozen peas

Preheat a 4-quart pot over medium heat. Saute the onion in the oil until translucent, about 5 mins. Add the shiitakes, zucchini, garlic, tarragon, thyme, salt, and pepper; saute for 5 more mins.

Add the carrots, lentils, and broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 25 mins, stirring occasionally. By this point, the lentils should be tender and most of the broth should be absorbed. If it's not, then just let it simmer for longer and check on it. (Mine took about 15 mins longer than this.) Conversely, if the broth has evaporated and the lentils are soft, then add a bit of water and simmer for a bit longer.

Once the lentils are soft, stir in the Worcestershire sauce and peas. (I added 1 c. of peas instead of the 1/2.) Let sit for 10 mins or so for maximum flavor. Taste for salt.

To serve: Scoop a cup of Caulipots into a bowl and serve a cupful of lentils over it.

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes (Caulipots)
Gluten and Soy free

2 russet potatoes, cut into 3/4 inch pieces (about 1 1/2 lbs)
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets (1 lb, or about 3 cups)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 to 4 tablespoons vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
Several pinches of freshly ground black pepper

Place the potatoes in a 4-quart pot in enough cold water to submerge them, making sure there are about 4 inches of extra water on top for when you add the cauliflower. Bring the potatoes to a boil. Once boiling, add the cauliflower and lower the heat to a simmer. Let simmer for about 15 mins, until the potatoes and cauliflower are tender.

Drain them in a colander, return them to the pot, and use a potato smasher to mash them a bit. (A regular fork works just fine.) Add the olive oil, 2 tablespoons of broth, the seasonings and mix well. If needed, add another 2 tablespoons of broth. Taste for salt. Serve warm..

To your health!!!

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